Losing a close friend pt. 1

*Just a warning up front that this post is a bit raw and transparent. It chronicles my journey of losing a close friend (not to death, but our relationship) and I’m still in the process of working through the pain and the new reality of life that this situation presents.

I’ve recently lost a close friend. It’s actually been a really sad time to process the pain of losing a close relationship w/them.

The pain of losing a close friend is excruciating. It is by far some of the worst and deepest pain I have ever experienced in my life. I wish things were different. I wish different decisions were made. I wish I didn’t have to experience the sense of loss and grief that has plagued my mind and heart these past 3-4 months. I wish, I wish, I wish.

But, unfortunately, sometimes the planet we live on is not a “I wish” kind of place. If it was, things would be pretty easy. Actually, they would be amazingly easy. Wouldn’t they? Now, there’s nothing wrong with wishing. There’s nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with being positive and believing things will work out in the end. I mean, that’s how I live my life.

Even if there’s a drop of water in the glass, I’m typically the positive type who looks at it and says…“Wow, we have some water, that’s great”!

But, the reality is, even in my positivity and my belief in people and that in spite of the pain that relationships may cause, we have to keep pursing relationships. We have to keep opening up to each other. We have to keep pursuing community. That’s the way we were designed and created. We weren’t made to live alone.

Sometimes, our relationships, are going to take a hit. It’s human nature. We say things we don’t want to say. We offend. We think we’re doing the right thing by confronting our friend, but we got our facts wrong and we just drove a wedge in our relationship. Or, we get jealous. Isn’t that common? And in our jealousy, we do and say things that we don’t mean or want to say, but down deep we think they will make us feel better and they do for a half of a second and then we realize…we just drove another wedge into our friendship.

Friendships are amazing. Friendships can bring life. But, they can also bring pain and hurt.

The day it began

I noticed things were different one day with one of my relationships/friendships. And, I noticed because this friend is in my core. Here’s what I mean about my core…

My core relationships are those closet to me. These are the people I really trust and I really know, inside and out. They really know my heart and I know their heart. Trust has been developed over time and we have spent a lot of time together. They know my baggage, they know I’m a mess, and I know their baggage and I know their a mess.

They know my Story behind the Story and I know their Story behind the Story. (and sometimes the stories behind those stories)

Some of these people I don’t even see regularly but because we have so many shared experiences, every time we talk it’s like we’re just picking back up from where we left off. Some of these people are on the other side of the country and some are in my backyard. The point is…these are the people closest to me.

I started to discern a difference in this friendship.

You start to notice little things.

…your calls go to voicemail, emails aren’t returned, requests to spend time together are turned down, moments when you need a friend to talk too are responded with quickness. Then their presence disappears. Both physically and then when their with you, their really not with you (can you relate to that?)

Then you start to notice the big things.

They don’t ask your advice any longer. They stop telling you the little things. Conversations stay on the surface. Distance creeps in. And then more distance. There is resistance to talking about anything of depth.

And then one day you realize, wow, I really don’t know this person like I once did.

By the time I started to figure out what was going on it was a bit too late and in my pain and hurt I did and said some things that I am absolutely ashamed of and wish in a heartbeat I cold take back.

Wow, there is nothing like doing the exact opposite of what you want to do.

Then, because of your actions you hurt the relationship. A wedge is placed squarely in the center and mis-trust creeps in and before you know it, both sides have moved on.

In tomorrow’s post, I’m going to write about exactly what I did to help drive my friend away. It’s painful and I’m still ashamed. But, I know and believe in forgiveness and reconciliation and I know when you seek peace and forgiveness, God honors that.

But, I wonder if you can relate to this post?

Have you lost a close friend?

Have you ever hurt someone to the point where you wondered if they would forgive you?

Have you ever experienced a friend who just gave up on your relationship?

I would love to hear about it.

5 thoughts on “Losing a close friend pt. 1

  1. I have too experienced the great loss of a great friendship with someone. Her name was Kristin. I met her when I was a freshman in high school, she was a year ahead of me, and it’s like we became instant friends and spent pretty much every waking moment together for what seemed like years. We went on vacations together, went to family gatherings, spent time just talking for hours on the phone, and genuinely knew pretty much everything about each other. Then I got engaged to my husband in 2008, and everything started changing. She was my maid of honor (against the little inner voice in my head telling me that I should ask my sister Juli). She basically hijacked my wedding party and my life. I admired her, and valued her opinion so much that I let her do alot of the planning for things, and when I disapproved of somehting, she got the approval of my mom and went over my head and did things.

    At my wedding, she got up to give her Maid of Honor speech, and completely turned it into a pity party for herself. She begged my husband to “share custody” with her of me. She was living with me btw too at the time. I was mortified that she went on and on for over 5 minutes of how this was going to affect her, nothing about wishing us good luck or anything. Thank Goodness my husband’s best friend Craig got up and gave a great speech after that. To this day, I still can’t watch her speech on my wedding video. So anyways, she lived with my husband and I after we got married, we thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but slowly once again learned that it was a huge deal and when it became a problem, we decided to ask her to move out and find a new place to live. She made it into a federal case, and tried to get all my friends to turn against me.

    Then, with time, our friendship went sour and eventually led to us going our separate ways. She asked me out to lunch and then didnt show up to pick me up. I called her and called her for hours, suspending plans with my husband for this. Turned out, she ended up getting a last minute hair appointment and didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Well, I told her it was. My husband and I left and started our day, and she proceeded to stalk me for 3 days, finding out where I was and showing up, and when she would find me, she would let everyone around us know that I was a lying, cheating person, who doesn’t care about her friends.

    I finally told her that I couldn’t be friends with her anymore. She wasn’t respectful of my time with my husband and that I didn’t feel that he should have to “share custody” of me. It was then that I realized after 14 years of friendship how huge of an impact on my life she had made…she was a manipulative, lying, rude person and was sucking the life literally right out of me.

    It took me months to come to terms with all that had transpired, and made me think truly about the friendships I had. It’s been almost 3 years now since I terminated that friendship, and there are still days I do get a little teary eyed but I know I made the best decision for myself and protected my marriage too.

  2. This post really resonates with me, and I am anxious to read more. I once let a close friendship become so distant that I actually left the state without telling her I moved, let alone saying goodbye. We were very close–she was one of two people I still considered a friend from high school and she was in my wedding. I took for granted that my friend would be there when I was FINALLY ready to be a good friend, because frankly, she had been so forgiving before.

    I finally realized the friendship had become virtually non-existent last November when I was going through a cancer thing. I was posting almost daily for a while keeping my friends and family informed, and I noticed that she hadn’t said anything. So one day, on chat, with a totally misplaced joke, I announced that I had cancer. Her response? “I know.” Nothing else. I spent a lot of time hurt about that until I realized that I had effectively ended our friendship MONTHS prior, and that it was pretty heartless of me to call on her only when I decided she had value. I sent her a long message about a month after my treatment was done, and I apologized-but probably not in a way that actually felt sincere. There was, and still is, (to an extent), a part of me that thinks I should be allowed to play the cancer card and have all be forgiven (that is a snarky and immature part of me). She has never responded to my apology. But her upcoming wedding and the fact that I am definitely not invited speaks volumes.

    I can’t wait for your post tomorrow, because I really am looking forward to seeing how you deal with the sadness. God and I talked a lot after that, and if nothing else, I think I know what it means to be a real friend now–I am not perfect, but I think I’m getting better at it. I agree with you, that God honors reconciliation and forgiveness, but sometimes, people don’t. . And that’s the part that makes it sad, I think.

    Thanks for being SO brave. And sorry for taking over your comment section with a giant “reply.” 🙂

  3. I can think of a number of friends I have lost, the most painful, of course, would be the loss of a husband through divorce. Others, would be boyfriend relationships that did not work out. All of those were painful. The one I am going to write about, however, was a female friend. She was a close friend and a confidante. In fact, we were friends with the whole family. The husband and wife decided they would no longer be in a relationship with our family. To my knowledge, we did nothing wrong. It seemed that my past sins, which I had long since repented of and which had nothing to do with them or anyone they knew, were somehow being held against me. So I not only felt deserted but also felt betrayed somehow. It was unfair. I did not respond in the best way, however. I gave in to the temptation, initially, of talking about how we were dumped and how unfair it was. Several years later, we were at church and the pastor gave a sermon about forgiveness and reconciliation. I could see where they were sitting. God spoke to my heart about how I had been angry at the rejection and had gossiped about this person. I asked God for forgiveness and then went up to my friend in tears and shared that I had not been the best friend to her that I could have been and asked for forgiveness. She cried, too and we hugged and there was forgiveness. We were never close again but at least we could be friendly when we ran into each other. I still mourn the loss of this close friend but it is not as painful and I do not feel guilty any more. Sorry for the loss of your friend and I pray for healing.

  4. This makes me think of my first marriage when it was failing. It progressed through the same type of stages you described. That was definitely losing a close friend!

  5. This post struck a raw nerve. Let me begin by saying that I’m so sorry for your loss. In some ways, I think this kind of loss is almost harder than a death.

    Like you, I lost a friend from my core. She was in the inner, inner circle, just outside of my relationship with my husband. We knew each other’s stories behind the stories behind the stories, and were closer than sisters for 12 years. We had a HUGE blowout fight over a year ago. I made mistake after mistake after mistake in dealing with the situation, making things worse at every turn. I apologized several times, but I messed up too badly. On the other hand, I also realized that after everything we’d been through together, if she thought so little of my character as to believe the things she does of me now, I no longer want a relationship with her.

    I’m still struggling with forgiveness at times–the hardest thing for me to forgive is someone else’s unforgiveness (which I realize makes me a hypocrite)! I firmly believe that the most important thing in any relationship is being able to extend grace to one another, no matter how it undeserved it may be. As Christians, we not only can do that because God has done it for us, but we are called to do so. It’s so hard to do that sometimes when our feelings are hurt, but relationships are made up of broken people who mess up and need forgiveness, love, and restoration.

    I still do desire to make things right, at least as far as ending any bad feelings between us, but at this point I have no more means of doing so. I trust that if God wants the situation resolved further, He’ll make a way. Until then, I still sometimes grieve the loss of one of my closest relationships, and try to be grateful for the lessons learned through the process.

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